Take 5 - Simplicity 2443

Thursday, 29 March 2012

I love this pattern.  This is the fifth time I've used it (previously here, here, here and here) and I'm pretty sure I'll use it again because the vest is whispering my name.

I had a girl's night out planned and I was determined to wear this jacket.  I don't usually like sewing to a deadline, but this time it really worked for me and I love the way its turned out.  The jacket doesn't pull across my bust (not that I'll ever wear it done up), it's just the way I'm standing.  I seem to get all awkward in front of the camera.

The fabric is a beautiful soft olive linen/cotton blend from Kelani Fabrics.  This time around I left off all the pockets and tabs, added an extra inch to the length of the body, left off the sleeve plackets and fully lined it.  I knew I wanted buttons, not the ties, but I was really worried I wouldn't find anything I liked.  In the end I found these mottled brass buttons as Spotlight, which I love, but I think the buttons ended up costing as much as the fabric (does $7 a button seem like a lot to anyone else?). 

I finished the jacket about an hour before I was due to leave and I decided I needed a 3/4 sleeve t-shirt to wear underneath (as you do!).  So I used an old t-shirt as a pattern and cranked one out.  It's a bit tighter than I was planning but I really like it, and I got out the door on time.  I was on a sewing high and had a great night out with my netball girls.

First cab off the rank - Butterick 5672

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Back here I shared a few of my autumn/winter sewing plans and now I can cross one item off my list.

This is view b of Butterick 5672, and I've got to say that I really like it.

I pretty minor changes to the pattern.  I omitted the lining and the zipper because I used a ponte knit and it slips off and on quite comfortably.  I added an inch in length to the bodice and then moved the pleats down by an inch to maintain the layout of the pleats.  I also added two inches to the length of the sleeves.  Also, I cut the skirt using the grainline for the lining, rather than the fashion fabric (the pattern suggests you cut the fashion fabric almost on the bias and mine didn't need to be).

Something to note is that the middle seam is actually above the waistline, which is something you don't get from either the front of the pattern envelope (the line drawing on the back is more realistic).  Not sure why they chose the fabric used on the pattern envelope because it really hides the design of the pleats.

I think that I'll use the pattern again - I'd really like to make a summer version and I'm also thinking about using the lining pattern pieces to make a version without the pleats.  My husband gave me two thumbs up for the dress and he can be brutally refreshingly honest with his opinions!

Sheer determination - Vogue 1291

Thursday, 15 March 2012

This pattern is one of Vogue's new releases and I probably would have overlooked it if I hadn't seen it on Erica's blog.  It's a bit different to what I usually pick, but as soon as I saw the line drawings I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  Apologies for the photos - it was after work, I was tired and my photographer told me I only had him for two minutes.

I felt so far out of my comfort zone making this.  When I started there were no reviews on Pattern Review and then I decided to use delicate sheer silk fabrics, add in the chaos zone that is my half finished sewing room and I'm a little surprised that I even finished it.

This is a Sandra Betzina pattern and the instructions were great with plenty of little tips along the way.  It's actually a very simple pattern, it was my fabric choice that upped the difficulty factor.  I used two silk fabrics, the body is light weight ivory broadcloth and the sleeves are a slightly crinkled chiffon with satiny 'ribbons' woven in.  The sleeve fabric was a challenge to sew with.

I didn't make any changes to the pattern itself, but there were a couple of things I did differently.  Firstly, this top is very snug across the stomach.  On me it sits very tight across the stomach and then blouses over the top, I'm happy with the way that looks but it is different to the pattern envelope.  To be fair Sandra does warn women with a bit of a tummy to make this in a knit rather than a woven, but I wanted to use a woven so that's what I did.

I graded out to the next size from the waist downwards (does that make sense?).  It also directs you to hem one of the sleeve sections in two parts, half before you attach it and half later on.  I just used a rolled hem on the lot and had no problems.  I also simply overlapped the sleeves at the front rather than overlapping and then gathering a very small section.  I don't think the minimal gathers really add a lot but they did increase the chance of something going wrong with the fabric.

And Bernice, thanks for keeping me on track regarding my plans to sew with knits after my little whinge a while back :-)  I've got quite a few woven projects planned too.  I think I'd been sewing too many knit items and I just needed to find a bit of balance.  Does that happen to anyone else?


Monday, 5 March 2012

There's not much action in the sewing room because it's currently having a makeover.  I'll show some pictures once it's all done, but I'm pretty excited.  Sorry about the picture layout below - they're supposed to be side by side, which they are when I'm drafting but not when I preview the post.  Anyone know how to fix that?  Moving right along... 

Now that the weather has turned in Melbourne I've started thinking about what I want for the cooler months.  Mum and I had a trip to Spotlight when she visited on the weekend and she's quite the enabler (somehow I ended up with two bags of fabric and Mum bought nothing!).  I find Spotlight can be very hit or miss, but this time I got lucky.

This black and grey houndstooth wool blend (80% wool. 20% nylon) will hopefully become view b of Butterick 5685.  Hmm, I think I was influenced by the pattern picture.

The eggplant purple ponte knit will become view b of Butterick 5672 (my camera really struggled with the colour).

The bright navy ponte knit will become Vogue 1257 (which I know has some sleeve issues to be addressed so we'll see how that goes).

I can't wait to get started.